When it comes to longevity in the field, a long battery life is often the most sought-after feature. Those who want to use drones for more than recreation, such as for professional work, a longer battery life means less downtime. Downtime, where you have to charge a drone fully between these flights. This can take over an hour for most drones, while only being capable of flying for about 30 minutes. Those who need drones for fieldwork, such as police, firemen, rescuers, or even private companies that need to monitor their property, that downtime-to-flight time ratio is not very viable.
For most of these occupations, they require drones to monitor large amounts of areas for hours at a time. While most modern-day drones offer high definition cameras and smart AI programs, battery life only goes to about 30 minutes maximum. This can be quite a problem, especially for those businesses and work that require hours of continuous drone usage.
Hydrogen Fuel Cells is the Future
A drone recently managed to go three and a half hours of flight without landing for refueling. The Hycopter ran on hydrogen fuel cells instead of the traditional rechargeable lithium battery. With this amazing feat, one may wonder if hydrogen fuel may just be the solution to the ever-present battery problem.
Drones usually used for business often come with a ton of flying tasks. Some want to survey an area, some want an area monitored, while others want flying vision on their property to make things easier. The reality is that for drones to expand more in a more professional setting, the battery (or the recharge time) must be looked into. The Hydrogen base may be the solution to this, and can provide an even more far-reaching use for future drones.
This Hydrogen-powered drone technology may still have a long way to go. Before it becomes the norm of every new drone created, some things need addressing. For one, the battery life of 3 hours may sound great, but it is still not enough for bigger jobs.
There are drones that have reached 25 days without landing, but they involved solar panels and are the size of passenger planes. These long-flying drones are looked at more as potential lower-orbit satellites that can move around.